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child in the way in which he should go,” which has annexed to it the assurance, that “when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Indeed, it is perhaps not in the power of the most zealous Sunday. school teacher fully to accomplish all that is meant by training ap a child in the way in which he should go. His opportunities of watching the daily effect of his instructions are few and limited; he cannot always follow the youth into the scenes and employments of the week; to check him when he is doing wrong-restrain him when he is wandering--advise him when he is hesitating—fortify him when he is tempted—and encourage him when he is doing right. All this he cannot do: he can only make him acquainted with the general outlines of the good path-he can guard him against the cross-roads where he may be most apt to go astray—he can lay before him the motives which should induce him to keep in that path, and never to swerve from itand he can give some idea of the flowers and the fruits of “pleasantness and peace” with which it is strewn, and of the blissful regions to which it conducts all those who continue in it to the end. He can also give him an idea of the temptations to wander from it—the allurements that present themselves at the numerous avenues of the broad road in which so many thousands walk themselves, and, for a time, use so many seductive arts to induce others to join them-he can describe the dangers that beset this crooked way as it is farther pursued, the thorns and briers which are sure to thicken during the onward course—the dangerous precipices that border it on every side, and the gulf of endless perdition, into which all must fall, wbo choose to continue in it, until it has become too late to retrace their steps. All this it ought to be his aim to do: all this, indeed, under favourable circumstances, and with the usual opportunities he can by patience and perseverance accomplish. He can also direct the young listener to Him from whom alone he can obtain wisdom to choose the good way, and strength and resolution to persevere in it; and having done this, he can himself breathe the fervent prayer, that the Spirit of all grace may seal instruction on the youthful heart; and there, so far as he is concerned, he must leave the matter. Yet is he not to leave it in despondency. The whole economy of grace, all the analogies of nature, all the promises of God, forbid him to despair. The precious seed, although buried long in dust, will not disappoint his hope. While yet springing, it may be withered by an ungenial east wind, nipped by an early frost, or deluged by an overflowing
But the germ of vitality is there,-again it may revive, and again it
may be hid by the ranker exuberance of the weeds that for a i time outstrip it; yet its growth is perennial; and, cherished by the re
freshing dew of heavenly grace, and drawn out by the genial beams of the Sun of righteousness, it will in due time display, first the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. Here is the handful of corn, which in faith you commit to the ground, amidst some difficulties and many solicitudes; there, tall, luxuriant, and laden with immortal fruit, it waves like the trees of God's own planting—the cedars that are around mount Lebanon !
And although the chief end of the Sunday-school instructor is not to make dutiful sons and daughters, affectionate brothers and sisters, good husbands, good wives, or good citizens, yet this is an end which he may lawfully keep in view in the prosecution of his higher objects, and one to secure which he is adopting the most efficient means. He belongs to the most enlightened class of philanthropists; he is also a coadjutor of the Christian minister; and if faithful to his trust, and upright in his motives, he is a fellow-worker with God himself! Let us not then hear of the humble occupation of a Sunday-school teacher. In this sense, there is nothing humble about it. It is intrinsically as noble an employment as that of the man who sits to dispense justice, to protect the good and to be the terror of evil-doers—inasmuch as it is more surely adapted to benefit society, and to save the individual. The Sabbath-school teacher has, indeed, to cultivate an humble dependence on God, but before men he has to “magnify his office.” He should be classed by the poet among the purest patriots, as one
“ Who noble ends by noble means attains ;" but he has not like many other patriots to encounter the frightful alternative of “ failing and smiling in exile or in chains,” for both his success and his reward are secure- -being guaranteed by the sure promise of Him who “is not unrighteous to forget his work of faith and labour of love."
Silcoates, Jan. 29th, 1848.
Scripture Difficulties.- No. III. "And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword,
which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”—GEN. III. 24. The words here rendered “a flaming sword, turning every way," are literally, “a flame turning or folding upon itself." The Jews read it thus; “And he thrust out the man, and caused the glory of his presence to dwell of old at the east of the garden of Eden, above the two cherubim.” Bishop Horne says, “ The design of this manifestation was to reveal the will of God for the conduct of his people, and to accept the sacrifice offered to him, and to acknowledge the sprinkling of blood,' without which (after the fall) there was no remission. All this was done TO KEEP OT PRESERVE the way to the tree of life.” In the spirit of repentance and faith, the delinquents were to wait "till one happier man should regain the blissful seat," and open the kingdom of heaven to all believers,-himself the true TREE of LIFE IN THE PARADISE of GOD. Thus this passage, which has been so long the butt of infidels, and the stumbling-block to believers, not only becomes cleared of its difficulties, but throws a light and glory on the whole patriarchal dispensation.
“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him
at his heart."-GEN. VI. 6. “ IF God is perfect and foreknew all things, why should be repent?” asked an intelligent boy of his teacher. The Scriptures here speak of God in the language of men, and represent him as using the same language. There is no language capable of conveying the correct idea: it can only be descriptive of the event, and not the cause. An apparent change in the course of the Divine government, and in the treatment of God's accountable creatures is the subject of this passage ; this is spoken of as the result of a change in the mind of God occasioned by a disappointment of his expectations. When men alter the conduct they have been long pursuing in respect of others, and withhold the kindness they have been accustomed to exercise towards them, it is because their views and purpose are altered, and the change is generally accompanied with some strong emotion, some disquieting passion. But God cannot change his counsel, or be affected by anger or grief; evil as well as good is subservient to his will, and accomplishes his wise designs.
All such passages in the sacred writings must be interpreted in consistency with this incontrovertible truth.
WHO WOULD NOT BE A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER ? THE Sunday-school teacher is one of the happiest beings in existence ; his very countenance is lit up with a sweet smile of benevolence, as he passes along early on the Sunday morning, with firm and active step. Whatever of a worldly character happens to attract his notice, he heeds it not, -his careful eye observes it, but not to be arrested by it; his is an urgent business: he stops not to spend his time in unprofitable conversation, but on he goes, and if he overtakes any youthful groups, he has for them a smile, a word, or a nod; he soon expects to meet them in the Sunday-school, to which his steps are directed. Yes, it is there he hopes to impart to the youthful soul the glorious news of salvation; it is this that makes him happy. The harmony and order of his class are apparent, the words which drop from his lips are like the honeycomb; his children catch the music of his voice as he unfolds to them some new idea gathered from the sacred volume; they gaze with admiration and surprise as he tells them of the joys and happiness of heaven-then
he is happy
Enter his study; his stock of books may be few, but they are like his companions, few and well chosen, and well understood. What he knows of earth, and sky, the stars that shine in beauty and in number, are studied for his class; the ocean with its myriad tribes, the fields with their beautiful flowers, the forests with their stately trees, the earth with its thousand hills, and all the other objects in Nature, are all studied for his class; the inhabitants of that better country—their pleasures and employment, the country itself with its thrones and kingdoms, its princes and its priests, are all studied for his class; well may they be all attention and delight. When he tells them of the love of God, and the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to seek and save that which was lost; when he tells them of these things, he is happy. He is not a stranger to trial and trouble; 0, no, his patience is often severely exercised ; for when he hopes to reap the reward of his labours by witnessing a change of heart in his little flock, they are unexpectedly cut off, and he has often to mourn in secret; still he trusts in the goodness of God-and in the right discharge of his duty, he is happy.
His leisure hours are spent in the noble-minded work of visiting; his feet often cross the threshold of the homes of those of his class; the smile he receives tells how welcome he is within their dwelling; he makes the widowed mother to rejoice in the success of her children's growth in affection and piety; he invites to the temple of God, talks of the joys above, counsels in mildness, warns in danger, and encourages in love; he is ever a welcome guest with them. His example is such as is worthy of being copied by all; his habits are all seasoned with temperance, mildness, and chastity ; his guide is the Bible, his master is Christ, and his home is heaven! Who, then, would not be a faithful Sunday-school teacher? for it may truly be said, he is a happy creature.
THE KING OF KINGS.-In the old church register of Sonnenburg, in Prussia, (formerly a residence of the Knights of St. John,) there is written on the last leaf but one this remarkable inscription, of which we give the following free translation :
“ Jesus, thy deep, deep wounds,
Thy death and bitter woe,
Which soul and body know.
I think of Thee and all Thy ill;
Of sin, which all Thy torments wrought.
Brandenburg, &c., &c., &c.” The writer of the foregoing testimony was the father of Frederick the Great, (who, it were to be wished, had inherited his principles as well as his throne,) and the son-in-law of the Elector of Hanover, afterwards George the First of
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL MAGAZINE.
SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHERS' CON
from this era,--for such it will be in the
history of the Sunday-school Institutions We have no hesitation in saying that this
in the manufacturing districts.
It was, system, repeatedly tried of late with such indeed, a time for sowing precious seed,
and the cast was broad and full. There eminent success, is one of the most effective in producing impression upon the
was earnestness, such as warmed the
hearts of all; and practical discussion, teachers of our schools, as to the real cha
such as elevated the minds of all. In racter of the work in which they are en
such Union there is strength, and we gaged, the best methods of accomplishing their object, and the best means of con- long to see all districts thus enlightened
by the contact of mind with mind, and solidating their strength. The formal annual meetings, with stiff
the kindling of earnest spirits in the love
of our glorious enterprise. speeches, and set resolutions, sustained not so much by practical teachers as those
PROVIDENT SOCIETIES FOR SUNDAY who were only observers, are not the sort
SCHOOLS. of gatherings we require. We want rather that which the Conference yields, the free
We have heard with much pleasure that
the Directors of the Christian Mutual and friendly discussion among practical working teachers, drawn from all the
Provident Society have resolved to exschools within the boundary of our Union, tend the benefits of their Institution to and attended by others whose experience Sunday-schools, so that each school may may be valuable and available. If added
have its branch. The benefits proposed to this the public meeting is added, all
are, 28. per week in sickness, and £3 in
case of death, by a weekly payment of 1d. the better; but we do need to break down that formality that attends so many of
We can easily discover many great adour assemblies. Within the month two
vantages arising from the general adopConferences will be held, reports of which
tion of this scheme, and earnestly com
mend it to our friends the superintendents will be given in our next Number. The
and teachers; only let the arrangements one in the Isle of Wight, was held in New
made not entrench upon the time devoted port, and was attended with the best results : it drew together teachers who had
to religious training on the Sabbath-day, never seen each other before-it brought ment in favour of this great object.
and we shall heatily rejoice to see a moveout facts never known before-it was the means of suggesting plans never heard of
SABBATH TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. before. Then at Leeds, upon the largest scale, a Conference was held on Friday, We are glad to learn from an article in the 21st of April. It was attended by up- the Universe, that so much interest has wards of two hundred and fifty delegates, been excited by the announcement, lately, representing a very large number of of three prizes for essays on the Sabbath, Schools and Unions in Yorkshire and by working men, that upwards of nine Lancashire. Never was a meeting of so hundred and fifty have been received. We much importance convened before; and have been privately informed, that in the never, we dare say, was so much effect pro- majority of those essays the advantages duced by any single effort, commensurate of early Sabbath-school instruction is with that good which will take its date strongly dwelt on.